Are Hostels Safe – Safety Tips & What Should You Pay Attention

Are Hostels Safe - Safety Tips & What Should You Pay Attention
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Many people who have never traveled by hostel have a rather bleak view of them, and worry about the burning question; are hostels safe? Even seasoned travelers can be wary at times, but most people never have any issues at all in hostels.

It’s not dangerous to stay in a hostel. It always depends on the other guests at the hostel, the national situation at the time, etc.

Here are some advice for female hostel guests!

Are Hostels Safe?

Are Hostels Safe - Safety Tips & What Should You Pay Attention

I like to take cheap vacations so I can spend more money on restaurants, museums, and historic site entrance fees. Although I’ve stayed in some pretty awful places that could have ended my trip, I’ve always had the best travel experiences when I stay in hostels, bed & breakfasts, and low-cost hotels.

“Europe Budget” and what westerners call “budget” are two different things. Think much more basic and without as many perks. Not even hangers were present, let alone towels or soap.

What is a Hostel Vs Hotel?

While hotels offer private rooms, hostels provide shared dormitory lodging for you and other travelers. Hotels are more appealing to adults who want a private, comfortable experience than hostels, which are less expensive and frequently draw younger travelers.

Hostels are more cost-effective because they utilize the dorm room concept to accommodate more travelers in a smaller area. Smaller hostels have a maximum occupancy of four guests per dorm room, while larger hostels can accommodate up to fifty guests on a sizable floor.

Others have spacious shared bathrooms (typically divided by male and female), while some dorm rooms have ensuite bathrooms. In hostels with lower prices, linens and towels are not provided.

The communal setting, cheaper rates, and superior amenities are advantages of staying at a hostel. One of the best parts of traveling alone is how simple it is to meet new people and find travel companions.

Although hotels are more expensive, they don’t provide the same free amenities as hostels. Many hostels offer free wifi, free breakfast, laundry rooms, travel booking services, and the chance to meet people for $5 to $50 per night for one bed.

Simple Tips to Stay Safe at a Hostel

There are a few simple tips you can follow:

  1. Stay at a quality hostel with a secure hostel location
    The first rule to stay safe at hostels is choosing a quality hostel
  2. Trust your gut and use your head
  3. Use the lockers (even in private rooms)
  4. Ask staff for security advice
    Is there something to know about the city, scams, areas to skip?
  5. If in doubt, travel in a group
  6. Drink responsibly (and in a group you are familiar with if possible)
  7. Don’t open the hostel door for strangers
  8. Don’t bring shady friends to the house
  9. Watch your belongings you care about
  10. Copy your Passport and email it to you
    Always keep in mind how important your passport is!
  11. Hide some backup money in a different pocket
    Put some money away, just in case you lose your wallet.
  12. Arrive to the hostel the first time before dark
  13. If in doubt, many hostels also have female-only dorms, for female travelers. There are even full hostels that are exclusively for female travelers.
Are Hostels Safe - Safety Tips & What Should You Pay Attention

Can You Stay in Hostels With Kids?

First thing first, because even addressing if hostels are safe with kids… Can a child accompany you when staying in a hostel?

The quick answer is YES, but you might not be able to stay in ALL hostels (and you probably won’t want to stay in any hostels).

Usually, children will be allowed in hostels in a private room or using the entire dormitories. HI Canada, for instance, permits kids to book private rooms at any hostel. To stay in a shared dormitory, a child must be 6 years old (or older).

Even family rooms are advertised in some hostels.

On HostelWorld, you can conduct a specific search to find a family room when looking for a hostel with children.

Are Hostels Safe for Families?

In short, yes. The majority of hostels have options that are safe for families to use. You’ll typically be sharing common areas like the kitchen or bathrooms, but you can often rent private dorms that hold up to 4 people, and sometimes you can even have a private bathroom.

Furthermore, the majority of these options are still less expensive than the majority of the hotels in the area.

However, it again varies depending on the kind of hostel you stay at. Because while most hostels may be “safe” for families, they might not be the most appropriate for young kids.

Point in case: the last Youth hostel I stayed at was in 2016. Although we were living in Paris at the time, I traveled to London to see John Mayer.

I thought it was a great deal to stay at a youth hostel for under $25 per night. The reason it was so inexpensive then became clear: the location was tidy, the staff was welcoming, but guests were prepared to have a good time.

Without going into too much detail, let’s just say that the sound of strangers throwing up from the previous night was what woke me up in the early morning. My roommate had even soiled his sheets in the night, and that was the moment I resolved:

I’m too old to stay in a youth hostel.

Since then, Emilie and I have talked about this. And while I was initially against the idea, Emilie showed me how 4 tips could help us find family-friendly hostels. So we could still save money without making our kids watch 18-year-old rock ‘n’ roll all night (and puke every day).

She took the kids and I to a hostel under the HI (Hostel International) brand in Jasper National Park in the Canadian Rockies to demonstrate her point. The kids felt safe at all times, we had a great weekend, and we didn’t break the bank.

In fact, we observed lots of other adults whose sole purpose was to take in the scenery, read a great book in the lounge cafe, and go skiing.

The Verdict: Are Hostels Safe for Families?

Are hostels safe for families? The answer to this question really depends on:

  • The hostel you’re looking at, and
  • The ages of your kids

But one thing is clear: most cities have options for family-friendly hostels where you can travel with your kids.

Just be sure to conduct thorough pre-trip research on the hostel. If you’re unsure, you can always call the front desk and find out how they handle families with young children.

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